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How to Discover a Leak in Your Water Heater

white pipes bursting


At Four Seasons Plumbing, we recognize the critical role your water heater plays in maintaining comfort in your home. Discovering a leak early can prevent significant damage and save on costly repairs. This guide is meticulously crafted to help you detect leaks in your water heater, ensuring it continues to function efficiently and safely. At Four Seasons Plumbing we have the seasoned experts and track record of experience to ensure success. We will not only detect and fix the leak, but instruct you on preventative maintenance to protect your plumbing system against further damage.

Early Signs of a Water Heater Leak

Detecting a water heater leak early can often be tricky since some of the signs may be subtle.

Here are 5 key signs you may have a leak in your pipes:

1. Unexplained Wetness: Finding moisture or puddles around the base of your water heater can be the first sign of a leak. It’s essential to investigate even small amounts of water.

2. Unusual Noises: If you hear the sound of water running or dripping when no water is being used, it could indicate a leak within your water heater.

3. Water Pressure Changes: A leak in your water heater can lead to a noticeable decrease in water pressure when using hot water appliances or fixtures.

4. Visible Corrosion: Rust on the tank or surrounding pipes often precedes a leak. Regular inspections can help spot these signs early.

5. Unpleasant Odors: Leaks in wastewater pipes can cause nasty sewage to slip into your home water supply. If you smell a very unpleasant odor, you may need to seek out a professional to find the cause. It could be a leak.

Steps to Discovering a Leak

Four Seasons Plumbing recommends a a two-part systematic approach to confirm a water heater leak:

Inspect the Water Heater Surroundings:

Clear the Area: Ensure the area around your water heater is clear of belongings or storage items to accurately assess the source of moisture.

Dry the Area: Wipe any moisture from the water heater and surrounding floor. Use a towel or a mop to ensure the area is completely dry.

Check Regularly: Return to check the area after a few hours. Any signs of moisture returning can indicate a slow leak.

Identify the Source:

Top vs. Bottom Leak: Water pooling at the base doesn’t always mean the tank is leaking. Moisture can travel down the sides from leaks at the top. Inspecting both the top and bottom for signs of leaks is crucial.

Pipe Fittings and Connections: Examine all visible fittings and connections for signs of leakage. Tightening connections may be a simple fix, but persistent moisture indicates a need for further investigation.

Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve: This valve can release water due to pressure buildup. If moisture is present around this valve, it may be functioning correctly, but it’s essential to ensure it’s not leaking excessively.

When to Call Four Seasons Plumbing

While discovering a leak in its early stages is possible with diligent observation, determining the exact cause and appropriate fix can be challenging. Don’t wait until your floors are sopping wet, sewage has spilled into your water supply causing a foul smell, or your floors are buckling — call the experts on leak detection, at Four Seasons Plumbing.

If you..

  • Find persistent or unexplained moisture
  • Notice significant rust or corrosion
  • Experience a sudden change in water pressure

It’s time to call in the experts from Four Seasons Plumbing. Our team can provide a thorough inspection, accurately diagnose the issue, and recommend the best course of action to ensure your water heater is safe and efficient.


Early detection of a water heater leak is crucial in preventing damage and maintaining the efficiency of your pipes and whole house plumbing system. By following this guide from Four Seasons Plumbing, you can be proactive in spotting early signs of leaks. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt about the condition of your water heater, pipes, or water filtration system, or if you discover a leak, Four Seasons Plumbing is here to help.

Contact us today for a consultation

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I check my water heater, pipes, or water filtration system for leaks?

Four Seasons Plumbing recommends inspecting your water heater and plumbing system at least once a month for any signs of moisture, corrosion, or unusual noises.

Can a small leak turn into a bigger problem?

Absolutely. Even small leaks can indicate underlying issues that may lead to more significant damage if not addressed promptly.

What should I do if I can’t find the leak source but suspect there’s a problem?

If you suspect a leak but cannot locate the source, it’s best to contact Four Seasons Plumbing. Our professionals can help identify and resolve hidden leaks before they cause major issues.

By staying vigilant and knowing what signs to look for, you can catch water heater leaks early and rely on Four Seasons Plumbing to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently.


Max Rose - Owner of Four Seasons Plumbing


Max Rose

Max Rose is the owner of Four Seasons Plumbing, a plumbing company in Asheville, North Carolina.